Today was revealed the first draft 3D model of the USS Phoenix. She is an Ascension Class Starship 830 meters long containing 20 decks and housing a crew compliment of approximately 1300. Her designation is NCX-101138. My Starship is really pretty.
In other news, I got the chance to spend one more day on the set of Dear Lemon Lima yesterday and it was again a wonderful experience. If I ever wondered about wanting to be in the movie business, being on that set for several days cemented that desire. Those were amazing people to work with, and I got to end my last shooting day on a bleacher beside the principal young actors. I had the most chance yesterday to hang out with Meaghan Martin and I cannot say enough good things about her. She is professional and friendly in addition to being super talented. She was even willing to make time in her work day to meet and greet the teen and pre-teen extras who were only really there to get a glimpse of her. I also got to spend some time talking with Shayne Topp, which I hadn’t really before. He is a really insightful, very well put together, and very talented yong man.
And 1st AD Keith, who has been so super nice to me and let me really get a taste of what goes into movie making, is planning to come and see my show.
What a seamless segue…. Jenny’s House of Joy opens tomorrow night at the Edge of the World theatre in Edmonds. It’s an enjoyable comedy performed by a great cast and definitely worth the trip. Performances are 8:PM on Friday nights and 4:PM & 8:PM on Saturdays and runs throughout the month of September.
So today I wrapped my contribution to Dear Lemon Lima and I must say I’m sad that it’s done. It was so great to get to know the cast and crew and to watch as the film was being produced.
This morning I was summoned personally to the set by an order from the 1st AD (the incredible Keith) when he asked the extras casting director to send him “the teacher with the long hair who we all love”. Once I got to set he asked me my name and after that the whole experience jumped from great to spectacular. The world is a sunnier place when the guy in charge knows your name. Not only was I give free reign and a seperate cue (of my own and of my own volition), but after that shot was done and they had moved on to a different angle on the shot, I was invited to stay on set and listen to the dialog and watch the produciton.
It was excellent.
I hope that they change the call sheet and need me at least one more day.
But if not, THANKS to every one of you who made the shoot so amazing! Beth, Meaghan, Savanah, Dylan, Sara aka Mara Marsh, Redmond Elite Cheerleaders (you know who you are), Keith, Tyler, and especially Denise for the chance to do this- THANK YOU- you’re wonderful!!!
Now my eyes must turn to the rest of the week to come. “Jenny’s House of Joy” opens in less than a week and tech rehearsals begin tomorrow. Costume fittings for Phoenix are a week from today, the first cast photo shoot is two weeks after that. The next week we record the September podcast. And two weeks after that we shoot. During all of that time “Jenny’s” will be running Fridays and Saturdays.
Hopefully I’ll be too busy to miss the shoot too much.
So last week I worked two days on a lovely little film called Dear Lemon Lima (pronounced ‘lye-mah’ like the bean, not ‘lee-mah’ like the city in Peru). Today was my third day working on this picture and I am pleased to say that I have at least two more days work ahead of me before production wraps.
I play a member of the Board of Directors of the Nichols School (fictional prep school where the film takes place). It’s a silent part; really I’m a barely glorified extra, but it’s been a marvelous few days.
The whole shoot has been an amazing experience. Director Suzi Yoonessi has her creativity splayed across her face most of the time and it’s amazing to watch Keith and Tony (1st and 2nd AD’s respectively) translate whatever she’s thinking into a reality on set and then to witness as Sarah (DP) takes that reality and manages to compose the shot that Suzi will need to cut into the finished film.
And the principal cast is so talented and so easy to work with that I feel like I’m at a party and yet learning something at every turn. Beth Grant has been a particular joy to work with. She’s been super friendly and an amazing professional to observe at work. Coming from a theatre background and moving toward TV and film (and with a web series on the horizon), she is a great example for me to watch.
All that to say: if you ever get the chance to b a film extra… do it. You get to meet cool people, watch incredible professionals at work, and they feed you.
Oh- and as for the post title…. ‘Checking the gate’ is a function performed by the assistant DP (TJ, he’s a hoot with a green laser pointer) before calling a series of takes good to get the shot they were tryig to get. This involves opening up the camera at its lens end and looking physically through the lens toward the guts of the camera (the film gate is a piece of hardware that keeps film in the right position to be shot upon correctly and in frame at 24 frames per second). If the ADP/ AD calls out “good gate” we’re free to move on to the next shot. So, the gate check has become something to celebrate- particularly when the end of the shooting day is drawing near. So Meaghan has begun singing “checkin’ the gaaaaaate!” whenever a gate check is called for. Today she was joined by a chorus of 110+ extras.